Westside picnic at West Center this year

       After 10 years of organizing annual summer picnics for the public in Bancroft Park, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) and Westside Community Center are moving the venue this year.
       The free event, featuring barbecued hotdogs and brats, side dishes, soft drinks, live music and children's activities, will be at the center, 1628 W. Bijou St., Saturday, July 23. The time will be noon to 2 p.m.
       The location change was proposed by OWN, the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside. According to its president, Welling Clark, “we've had good turnouts at the park, but the goal is outreach. We want to promote the center so people know about their programs.”
       Outside, the center has a kids' playground, a basketball court and open space for organized games and information booths. If it rains, activities can be moved indoors, Clark noted.
       Another plus, he pointed out, is cost savings. The city had charged several hundred dollars to use Bancroft.
       The Westside Community Center is owned by the city, but operated under a contract by a public-service arm of the Woodmen Valley Chapel.
       Center Director Dick Siever said the July 23 date works out well because the facility's volunteers had already planned to open its kitchen in support of a morning event - Wheelchair Wash and Tuneup Day, sponsored by the local chapter of the Joni and Friends disability support organization.
       No reservations are needed for the picnic. However, as it has for the past two years, OWN plans to include an “early bird coupon” in the newsletter (the Westside Story) that it will be mailing beforehand to households on the older Westside. Families bringing in coupons get precedence in the food line.
       For more information, call the center at 385-7920.

Westside Pioneer article